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Emerson Quartet, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

The programme could not have been more felicitously constructed: three Central European string quartets, composed during a two-year period in the Twenties when Modernism had just found its voice.

Blasphemy, By Sherman Alexie. Grove Press, £14.99

Sherman Alexie has beaten the odds. First, he wasn't expected to live, having been born with hydrocephalus, which is fatal if not treated. Secondly, not many Native Americans rise above the narrow confines set by white society – and, as Alexie illustrates, some of their own community – to reach literary success. Alexie has done so, with many national awards.

A taste of India: Learning to cook in Kerala

Hanging upside-down off the back of a wildly bobbing boat is not the best time to do the grocery shopping. Eye-to-eye contact is, I'm told, a key to successful bartering but, like keeping my breakfast down, I'm finding it hard to maintain.

Alex Thomson reaches Les Sables d’Olonne

Alex Thomson goes round the world in 80 days

Sailor becomes the fastest Briton to finish the Vendée Globe, joining the elite at his fourth attempt

Bodyguard of Kony ‘killed’ as Ugandan forces close in on LRA leader

Ugandan forces have killed a former bodyguard of Joseph Kony, a sign they are closing in on the fugitive rebel leader wanted for war crimes.

Tahir ul-Qadri is planning to lead a huge march on Islamabad

Tahir ul-Qadri: The cleric who wants to disrupt Pakistani politics

A cleric has burst on to the political stage in Pakistan vowing to “get rid of electoral dictatorship” in a move that could scupper elections this spring.

Holy Other

The best music of 2012: Electronica

“Dubstep” became an even dirtier word in 2012, because of its synonymity with that wobba-wobba-wob noise to which the US mainstream has so unexpectedly taken.

Armageddon flop: After all that fuss it really wasn't the end of the world

Events organised across the planet for people to either gather for the oncoming Armageddon or to celebrate together the continuance of the human race

This week's wackiest web stories: Bringing sexy back (legally)

Plus: Sat nav Santa, the geek apocalypse and an alternative Christmas card list

Denis Matsuev, Kavakos, LSO, Valery Gergiev, Barbican, London

Unveiling plans for his new Mariinsky theatre, vociferously backing Putin over Pussy Riot, and popping up as an improbable Father Christmas on Radio 3, Valery Gergiev has been hard to ignore this week. But his current exploration with the London Symphony Orchestra continues.

Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver voted best placed to save the world from Mayan Prophecy

Brits picked the two actors as most capable of saving humanity in an online poll

Wayne Rooney struggled in the defeat by Cluj

Kevin Garside: Alex Ferguson desperately needs to roll out Wayne Rooney of old – if he still exists

He did not want for effort, but the Manchester United striker is utterly disconnected from his mojo

Is the end of the world really nigh? Authorities reassure Russians over Mayan Armageddon prophecy amid reports of 'unusual behaviour'

Some parts of Russia, which is often said to have a penchant for mystical thinking, appear to have been spooked by the Mayan predictions

Gator aid: 'If attacked, hit the animal'

Simon Calder: Foreign lesions, and how to avoid them

The man who pays his way

Ravichandran Ashwin’s bowling will test England’s batsmen

The Last Word: Let virtues of the long game flourish in Indian summer

T20 desecrates the game’s essence, absolving batsmen of all responsibility

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Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
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Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
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Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
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TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
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The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
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12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
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Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week